Tuesday, May 11, 2021


As pretty much anyone who knows me, reads this blog, or has recently talked to my mother is aware, I had spinal fusion surgery a few weeks ago. First, I want to thank all of you for your good wishes, messages of love and support, and emergency shipments of chocolate. There could be no better medicine, and they all meant the world to me. 

Anyhow, I’m happy to report I’m healing quite nicely. And before I get back to my normal posts, I wanted to share a few fusion-related observations I’ve made over the past few weeks. 

Pain Killers Make Me Funny. Apparently, I am unintentionally hilarious when on strong drugs. The following is a conversation that I actually recall having. 
Friend: Has your husband been taking good care of you? 

Me: He has! Well, he was. But then they took him away. 
Friend: Who? 
Me: The people. 

Friend: What people? 

Me: The people who are painting him gold. They said they’ll have him back soon. 

I am happy to report that my husband is indeed back and does not appear to have been gilded. And then there was the conversation I had with my hairdresser, whom my husband took me to see when my head began resembling Medusa’s. 

Me: Why did you only cut half my hair? 

Stylist: I didn’t. I cut all of it. 

Me: No, you only cut the right side. 

Stylist: I cut both sides. 

Me: Are you sure? I didn’t see you do it. 

Stylist: That’s because you were asleep. 

Me (suddenly noticing that my chin is damp): Was I also drooling? 

Stylist: I’m afraid so. 

Physical Therapy Can Be Depressing. I don’t mean the actual therapy. That can be kind of exhilarating and lead to feelings of tremendous achievement, like when I first got up from a couch without falling over. I’m talking about the illustrations in the PT booklet that Maggie, my perky blond therapist, gave me. Apparently, if you are at the age when you’re having certain types of surgeries, this is what the authors and illustrators assume you look like. 

Note the sleek hairstyles on both the man and the woman, which nicely frame the wattles on their necks. And of course, the belted polo shirt and oversized shorts on the man are sexy as hell, accentuating his toned chicken legs. (I’m trying to ignore the mystery bulge in his abdomen, although, except for the placement, it implies he’s happy to see the woman to his left). As for the woman’s clothing, I now feel compelled to run over to Marshalls and purchase a loose t-shirt and baggy capris. Although, I admit, I think I already have several of each.

I Still Feel Guilty Parking in Handicapped Parking Spots. I now have an official temporary parking placard that lets me park in all those close-up spaces at Jewel or Portillos. At first, it was exciting, like having a superpower. But thanks to perky Maggie, I’m actually starting to walk pretty well, which means I can traverse the short distance from my car to the door in less than twenty minutes and without a cane. 

Unfortunately, this means that people immediately start giving me the why-are-you-parking-in-a-handicap-spot-you-selfish-jerk stink eye. So I have taken to getting out of my car while hunched over, moaning slightly, and holding my lower back. 

Walkers Make Good Race Cars! For major excursions, I was given a four-wheeled walker with a pull-down seat. It’s fire-engine red, and if you sit in it and push backwards real hard with your legs, you can zoom around the main floor of the Shedd Aquarium like Mario Andretti, something I discovered this past Mother’s Day. It’s even more fun when you accidentally run into people and they feel obligated to apologize to you! I did, however, embarrass my family, and my grandson refused to acknowledge me. 

So, that’s the update. I’m hoping to be back to normal pretty soon, so perhaps I’ll see you when I’m back walking my dog in the prairie or pretending to exercise. I’ll be the one in the baggy capris.